Jason Kottke didn't take too kindly to concepts outlined by Michael Sippy calling for new features for what could be in a future generation of Apple's iPod.
Sippey: […] imagine similar functionality on the iPod: when you sync your catalog with iTunes, the device uses iSync to fetch new content to insert into the iPod UI: headline news, sports scores, weather reports…as well as promotional content for the Music store, quick surveys, email program opt-ins, third party ads, etc. Give the user the ability to opt out of the marketing content, of course, but provide micro-incentives like Amazon.com's nickel-incentive trivia program towards song purchases at the Music Store […]
Kottke: […] the suggestion of it makes me want to hop on a plane to SF and strangle the responsible party. I see ads when I pee. I pay to watch ads at the movie theatre. Most television programming is filler for advertising (which explains why most of TV sucks). Many magazines are mostly advertising. MTV is 100% advertising. The Post-It Notes on my desk are from Barclay's Capital. Clothing without prominent advertising printed on it is getting difficult to find. I am marketed to and advertised to everywhere I go. […]
Jason's got a point. Nothing is sacred anymore. Maybe never was. But truth is we are advertised and marketed to in every corner of what are supposed to our private lives. Hell, I can't even take a piss in peace at my favorite sushi bar because there's some LDC screen touting the latest trendy alcoholic beverage or cat food — I just couldn't tell the video quality was so poor and the audio unbelievably muffled. To be fair, the logo was recognizable. It was alcohol.
I think there's merit in Sippey's ideas. And as Jason notes, it's likely inevitable. But I think then it's up to the advertiser or even the media “owner” to try or dictate a standard of advertising or messaging that is creative, unobtrusive but yet offers value and return on investment for that advertisers. A tall order, I know. If not, you can bet that once again our personal lives will be hijacked by advertising and we will be left with empty and sacred-free souls.